The view from the Council President


Council President Darrell Clarke said he knew the union protests at Councl Thursday would be loud, but the reality was much worse than he had imagined.

That's saying something from a guy who witnessed John Street duke it out with Francis Rafferty as well as the raucous hearings surrounding the building of the stadiums. “I’ve got to say that the magnitude, I did not anticipate.”

 He called it “an unprecedented environment.”

Clarke said he had spoken to both Street and former Council President Verna after Thursday, and they agreed they had not seen anything like it.

Clarke said union representatives told him “They were not going to do what they did last year,” which was heckle the mayor throughout his speech. “I believed them.”

Clarke said that he laid two scenarios out for Nutter before the speech: 1) The removal and arrest the protesters (which the Council President said would have produced “bedlam”) or 2) end the session if it’s too loud.

Clarke said that, in discussions in the week leading up to the speech, it was noted that Nutter was required by the Charter only to submit his budget, not to make a speech. Clarke denied that he suggested that Nutter not attend, but he did say that Nutter wanted to give the speech. “He decided he was going to come up and try to speak.”

 Clarke said DC 33 leaders told him Thursday during the session that they would not quiet down.

 “They were at a level I’ve never seen before,” he said.

 Clarke said he wants to get involved in the labor negotiations because “I can’t continue to have a situation where I can’t operate City Council.”


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